Whether you’re a new homeowner, or it’s your first time living in a snowy climate with chilly winters, don’t forget to winterize your home both inside and out. In a weekend, you can cut your projected energy costs, reduce the risk of damage, and ensure a warm home as you head into cooler weather.
1. Remove all garden hoses from the exterior of the house. Carefully unhook the hoses, drain, and coil them before storing them in a garage or shed for the winter. Then cover each outdoor spigot with a foam-insulated cover to keep your water pipes from freezing and bursting.
2. Clean your gutters. During the fall, your gutters will likely fill with leaves, which can lead to a buildup of ice and costly repair bills in the spring. Use a hand scoop or pressurized water to remove all debris from the gutter system. Make sure water can flow smoothly through the system and properly drain.
3. Replace or cover the windows. Older homes utilize storm windows in cool weather. Remove the screens and replace them with solid glass storm windows. If you don’t have storm windows, but still notice drafts, use plastic window coverings to seal out the cold air. These two types of window treatments help insulate your home and keep it warmer in the winter.
4. Clean chimneys and ducts. If you have a fireplace and a central heating system, it’s time to remove any build up of dust, soot, and grime before you start using them again for the season. Regular chimney and duct cleanings reduce the risk of a house fire and cut down on dust allergens, leaving you with a healthy home .
5. Seal any leaks. Grab a tube of all-weather outdoor caulk and fill any holes you see around your home’s foundation. This prevents both cold air and rodents from sneaking inside your home. Winterize each entryway by replacing any weather stripping around the doors and threshold. Check all windows for proper closure and lock them.
6. Prep the yard for spring. Grab the lawn mover and go over the yard one last time. Use a bag and the mulch setting to easily grind up and collect fallen leaves. Then, apply a preemergent weed killer and lawn fertilizer. Water the lawn to help the treatments soak into the soil. Bring all potted plants indoors and forego shrub pruning and tree trimming until spring.
Have you started to winterize your home ? Tell us in the comments below what tasks are on your to-do list.